Thinking about joy, it has always seemed to me, is like trying to catch a dandelion puffball drifting on a summer breeze. The closer you get to it, the more it escapes your grasp. But something made me reflect on it when the sun rose in crimson splendor this morning.
Joy is not the same as pleasure, though maybe it is at a deep level. It starts with the willing acquiescence in what must be, the humble acceptance of what simply is.
Joy is the thrilling insight of being on the right way – on my right way.
Joy is a giddy fun at just being, at living here and now secure and whole as I am just now.
Joy is a contentedness with belonging – in itself because we are the creature who can appreciate belonging, unlike apes and geese who do it because they have to. It is a contentedness to be among those to whom we belong because we have the gift of approving them as they are, the gift of liking to be among them, and the great gift of being in communion with them.
Joy is the eager, hope-filled anticipation of an ensured future beyond our imagination wonderful.
Joy comes in the sound conviction that what I hold in faith is true and unshakeable. When I reflect on this conviction, I am astonished that I have it to start with, and delighted in the firmness of my conviction.
Joy flourishes even when I hurt badly, and I can continue in joy even if the hurting goes on and on.
Joy can outlive being rejected, ignored, and condemned, provided only that my own conscience has been examined and I have begged God’s forgiveness for my sins.
At the very root of joy is the gratitude that it was brought from the throne of God and granted to us, passed down through generations of joyful people.
It may be, though, that our joy will never be complete in time but only when we join the rest of the saints in eternity. Meanwhile, that’s a joyful conviction.